I went to Jesselton Artisan Market this afternoon to do some observations as part of my work. I am so delighted to see more women are getting empowered to become successful entrepreneurs (and artisans). As I look through them, I am reminded why it is vital to create inclusive environments where these remarkable women can thrive. It would be great if these women can be the role models and inspiration to all the women in rural areas.
Frankly, there are some still hold this unconscious bias that ‘Men Shall Be The Leader’ which I find it is so pervasive that we often forget the negative impact on how we treat and perceive women in taking charge a business. Gender equity still has a way to go especially in the more male-dominated sector. Inequities start as soon as early school, and that’s how it nurture a woman to become full of insecurities and doubts. Yes. Women often doubt their own capabilities, and have high level of insecurities.
In order to be successful alongside the male counterparts, women have to overcome their hesitation and uncertainties. Women should be able to embrace challenging situations in order to reach full potential. In fact, women should take opportunities to learn and understand the business as well as their talent. In other words, women need to work at gender equity, and help each other through coaching, mentoring, or encouraging each other.
I believe women have the access to any leadership opportunity, but, women should learn to set aside fear, doubt, insecurity, and indecision. There is a need to be surrounded by supportive role models, learn to embrace failure, and soak up knowledge. Women have always been natural leaders and worthy decision-makers as women instinctively initiate and nurture relationships.
We all have the choices to make. When the door opens, we need to take the chance, and leave no room for doubt. Be firm, confident, and recognize the people that helped along the way and find ways to help and support others. Every time a woman lift another, her career and legacy are strengthened. Women supporting women is more than just mentorship because as we establish an open-door policy to create a voice to be heard, we are actually creating a needed culture of support.
We are all created equal. Women should never behave a certain way, speak with a certain tone, and dress a certain way. Women can be whoever they wanted to be, and they can always fulfill themselves while helping others.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela